no help for the helpless

Writing Prompt: Help

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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Giant black garbage bags sat to the left and right of her. They were sentries protecting her from the nothingness she fell further into each day. Tan holed socks over crusted unwashed feet kept out some of the chill. She untied the bag to her left. She rummaged inside looking for another sock, but nothing changed since yesterday. She knew this deep down, but like a child on Christmas Day she hoped that she possessed Santa’s special red velvet gift bag that produced whatever one asked for from thin air. There were never any new socks to be found and Zoe certainly didn’t have Santa’s bag. All she had inside were the vestiges of a life once lived. To lose or have anything stolen from her bags would doom her to permanent homelessness and a past that would be erased as though it never existed. So she kept them close and tied her knots tight so no one could see what was left of her life after the fire.

Zoe needed help and asked for it many times. But the system kept her in an endless loop of wants and needs that could never be fulfilled. She pleaded for help, often pleading with only the air and wind, and sometimes a God who seemed to have forgotten he’d made her. She was an only child and her parents who had died were only children. All her grandparents were dead. She was alone, forced to face monthly periods and a growling stomach on the streets of Manhattan, or as a mole underground where light and air were only for those with money. Most times, it was food or maxi pads. Food always won because blood could not be eaten nor bartered for socks. Instead it stained her life each full moon and reminded her that help would never come; but the full moon would never end.

There was no help for her. Only endless days of coins hitting tin cups, an empty knotted stomach each week and crimson blood on the sad full moon.

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1 Comment

  1. I have always wondered what it must be like to endure the streets, especially as a woman. Tough topics tend to be hard to explore, but it is key to human understanding. Thank you for giving female homelessness voice.

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